Cloud migration is often more complex than organizations realize. Cloud strategies can be complex. When organizations start their cloud journey, they may choose a services provider that can most rapidly onboard their current technology stack. However, as they scale, they often find they need additional capabilities. A multi-cloud strategy gives organizations the flexibility needed to get the services that help them meet business goals and desired outcomes.

What is Multi-cloud?

Multi-cloud is a cloud-computing deployment model built around a combination of services from multiple providers and/or services. The single-network architecture uses two or more private and/or public clouds to distribute assets, software, and applications.

While multi-cloud usually refers to more than one Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, it can also include Software-as-a-Service providers.

Meanwhile, multi-cloud solutions are cloud-computing options that can be used across multiple infrastructures supplied by different providers. These cloud-native technologies offer multi-cloud management solutions, giving companies better visibility across production environments, development environments, data warehousing, and storage.

What is the Difference Between Multi-cloud and Hybrid Cloud?

While multi-cloud and hybrid cloud have some similarities, they also have some differences.

Hybrid cloud

In a hybrid cloud environment, the organization has more than one cloud. However, these deployments incorporate at least one public and one private cloud environment. The mixture of on-premises infrastructure, private cloud, and public cloud includes orchestration, management, and portability to create a unified experience.


Meanwhile, multi-cloud is the broader umbrella term. It can be two or more public cloud providers and no private cloud. It can also be a public and private cloud.

Hybrid Multi-cloud

Hybrid multi-cloud brings together the two previous types of infrastructures. It uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud. This approach gives organizations the flexibility to choose the right computing environment for components, tasks, and projects.

Why Choose Multi-cloud?

While using a single cloud service provider may make initial migration easier, a multi-cloud strategy offers several business outcomes.

Cost effectiveness

Since cloud services are built around subscription models, organizations often find them more cost effective than on-premises deployments. Companies no longer need to pay high, up-front costs categorized as capital expenditures. Further, they can leverage competition between providers to help reduce overall costs, including looking at the different service offering pricing models. Finally, they reduce the amount of money spent on staff since the provider manages tasks like updating software and operating systems.

Return-on-investment (ROI)

Since companies can choose the best services from each provider, they can allocate financial and computing resources more effectively. This allows them to pay for what they use and choose the right technology for their business needs.

For example, Azure enables them to manage all their 0365 applications. Meanwhile, AWS may offer better storage. On the other hand, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) may be better suited for virtual machine management.

Security and compliance

While organizations still need to ensure network security and limit access, multi-cloud deployments allow them to transfer some of their security and compliance risks to providers. This is where shared security responsibility comes into play. With public cloud providers, shared responsibility is a shared and separate responsibility. Cloud service providers need to ensure that the infrastructure is secure and compliant, taking some of the burden off the organization. However, the organization is responsible for ensuring the security within their cloud environment.

Resilience and disaster recovery

With more than one cloud, the organization has more options in case a system outage occurs. It gives the organization a way to disperse operations to prevent business interruption. Further, in the event of a natural disaster or Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, the organization has resources that ensure continued productivity. When organizations leverage a multi-cloud strategy, they can easily migrate impacted resources across geographic locations or providers, ensuring continued uptime and reducing business impact.


With a multi-cloud strategy, organizations can place their resources in data centers geographically closer to their end-users. When data needs to travel further from a user, the routing path can increase the time responses take. Different service providers may offer better geographic locations that make the requests take less time to increase productivity and reduce user frustration.

Reducing / avoiding / preventing vendor lock-in

Developing applications around a multi-cloud strategy makes it easier to change service providers. When a company uses only one public cloud, it builds its technology stack around what works best with that provider, including its internally developed applications. However, with a multi-cloud deployment, organizations have greater flexibility as they scale their operations. Additionally, they have better negotiating power because they can always switch to a different provider, enabling them to optimize their partnerships and contracts.


A key benefit of multi-cloud is the flexibility to be agile and scale as the organizations grows. Organizations can quickly spin up workloads, scale their storage requirements up or down based on the demands of the business and expand their capabilities within minutes.

What is Multi-cloud Management?

Multi-cloud management is the set of tools and procedures that organizations use to monitor, track, secure, and optimize their multi-cloud deployment. Each new service provider adds complexity to the organization’s infrastructure. With a single set of tools, the organization can more efficiently and effectively manage APIs, service level agreements (SLAs), security, and compliance.

With multi-cloud management, organizations can:

  • Reduce IT burdens by giving staff a single location for managing applications and workloads.
  • Gain visibility into workloads running across their complex environments.
  • Enhance security by maintaining consistent policies across all cloud providers for a proactive program.
  • Manage spending by monitoring and tracking costs and usage across multiple providers.
  • Increase uptime and availability by easily migrating workloads to eliminate single points of failure.

Securing Your Multi-cloud environment

Fortra’s Alert Logic provides comprehensive cloud environment security monitoring, detection, and response capabilities. With a focus on both pre- and post-breach security, Alert Logic delivers protection against advanced and unknown threats.

Additional resources:

Blog: What Is Multi-cloud Security?

Guide: Key Steps to Defining and Implementing a Secure Multi-cloud Strategy

Solution Brief: Key Steps in Defining a Shared Responsibility Model for Public Cloud Environments

Guide: Successful Cloud Modernization

Alert Logic Product Management Team
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